Six tax and accountancy bodies have written to David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, to express their concern about the forthcoming mandatory requirement that all UK companies should submit statutory accounts to HMRC in iXBRL format.
ACCA, AAT, ATT, CIOT, ICAEW and ICAS are all concerned about HMRC’s proposals for the ‘transition’ arrangements, which come into effect on 1 April 2011, and the fact that there are ongoing software problems.
The letter contains the following recommendation:
"We recommend an immediate amendment to the implementation plan, as follows:
From 1 April 2011 companies should be required to file their CT computations in iXBRL together with the CT600 return online – as mandated.
The accompanying statutory accounts should be acceptable in either iXBRL or PDF format for a period – we suggest a minimum of six months, to be reviewed as the market progresses.
Full implementation of iXBRL-based CT online filing including statutory accounts should proceed thereafter, although for the following 12 months HMRC should accept any CT return as valid if its iXBRL tagging meets the HMRC gateway validation criteria, even if this falls short of the minimum tagging list.
Professional bodies should encourage their members to file both accounts and computations in iXBRL as soon as is feasible.
For the year beginning 1 April 2011 and for the two years following, HMRC should be particularly lenient in relation to any late filing penalties for CT returns and when considering rejecting returns due to iXBRL related issues.
HMRC should take swift action to advise taxpayers and agents of these refinements to the implementation plan, and should issue clear guidance on how the current problems arising from non-delivery or late delivery of software are being addressed.
Changes to the implementation plan should be enshrined in legislation.